Not just depth, but breadth

I have been at Weather Underground for 4.5 months now. I have been working on a lot of great things!

I redesigned the Weather API. It was launched in April with a new responsive design layout and header. It was featured at TechCrunch NYC and will also be featured at TechCrunch SF.

I am working on the WunderMap with a great team improving its user experience. I am working on other products, but I can not discuss them until they are fully launched.

I have also gained new skills:
- Responsive Design Layout
- Agile and Scrum Methodology

I have also grown deeper with skills I had before:
- HTML5/CSS3
- User Experience
– Personas
– User Testing

Recently at WU, we have created an indepth discovery process which really focuses on the users because the products we are creating truly affect users especially during severe weather events.

I have also decided that I need to refine and grow further in developing my own designs and have dove deeper into HTML5 and CSS3. I want my designs to be pixel perfect and it only benefits the design if a designer can build their own work.

Working at Weather Underground has been really great so far. I enjoy collaborating with my intelligent co-workers. Our design team is stacked with a lot of talent. I have been learning a lot from them and we have been working on a lot of great stuff too.

I have also learned, once a freelancer, always a freelancer. I am still connecting and doing work for new and old clients. I feel that I will always have an entrepreneurial spirit and continue to freelance in some sort of capacity.


Exciting Work News: New Job!

I have accepted a new job at Weather Underground (subsidiary of The Weather Channel) as a full-time Interactive Graphic Designer!

I have used Weather Underground for years and is a great resource to check weather, storm systems, hurricanes, winds and other weather related reports for surfing, skiing and other outdoors activities.

This opportunity will be combining my passions, design and surfing. I’ll be focusing on a new surf mobile app and surf report for the main site amongst a slew of other interesting products.

The past 3 years as a full-time design consultant has been incredible and built my business skills, added to my experience and portfolio. I have worked with and met amazing people and clients. Some have even become friends. Thank you to everyone I have worked with and for all the referrals. I am extremely grateful for everything!

I am very excited for this next chapter in my design career!


Redesign: Fitness for Every Body

Tala Stephens hired me to redesign her brand/logo, website, business card, and brochure. When she hired me, she just updated her fitness studio with new colors (pink and green) and equipment. She wanted brand consistency throughout her business and wanted to take her business to the next level.

Here are the before and after designs:

Before Logo:
before

Before website:
before


Redesigned Logos:
after_logo

Redesigned website:
after_site


Always

Always start your day off by creating something.

create


Valuable Business Partnerships

“Major breakthroughs are likely to come from multiple, specialized brains, rather than the jack-of-all-trades.”

As an independent designer, I realize that I need partnerships to make my clients projects succeed.

Top business partnerships I depend on are:
- Web Developer
- Printer
- Writer
- Photographer

Some clients and companies want a hybrid designer that both designs and codes. Personally, my creativity, passion and expertise lies in visual and user experience design. I know HTML/CSS, but I will never claim to be an expert. My partnership with a web developer is invaluable. When I collaborate with web developers, we discuss ideas which often enhance my design solutions for client projects. It is part of my job to stay knowledgeable on the latest technologies and design trends, but I depend on web developers to implement the code and backend technologies.

When I am creating a print project, I need a printer to execute the final product. It is valuable for me to be able to refer a competent printer to my clients. I always get asked who I recommend for a printer. Thankfully, I have found some great printers in my area that I can trust to do a high quality job.

With both web and print projects, my clients need writing. I always brainstorm with my client on how to implement design and marketing ideas, but the actual writing is not my expertise. In the past, I have been asked to come up with writing, but I always refer my client to a professional copywriter.

Often times, my clients will use stock photos for their projects, but once in awhile they want custom photography. I enjoy photography, but this does not mean I consider myself a professional photographer. I have created a network of professional photographers. I will always refer to them when my client asks me about custom photography.

I have knowledge in each of these areas, but I will not claim to be an expert. My expertise lies in design and I want to purely focus on design, usability, and communicating my clients needs. I think that being an expert is much more valuable than being a jack-of-all-trades. When you are specialized, you are able to claim you are an expert in an area that you are truly passionate about rather than spreading yourself too thin in multiple professions.

I find that my clients and partners are both grateful that I refer them. My client gets highest quality work and my partners get work that they are passionate about. It is a win win situation for everyone.



© 2016. JBird Creations.